And now I have serious book hangover…review of Legendary

36329818So I’ve been waiting on Legendary to release since I finished Caraval last January.  I actually pre-ordered the book a couple months ago and am still waiting for it to arrive, since this isn’t actually coming out until May.  However for the first time in probably 5 years I actually won one of the GoodRead’s giveaways. So now I have an ARC of the book and will get the actual book in the mail next month.  While it’s a paperback ARC, it is still a beautiful piece of advertisement as well!

IMG_1322.jpgWhen I first started Donatella’s story I was a little disappointed.  Outside of getting a glimpse at her past, the story started off and felt very much like Caraval.  I was thinking we were going to get a bit of a repeat of the firstbook with a new character.  And to a very small extent, that is true, but it is oh, so much more.  As Tella’s story takes off, we learn more about her mother and more about her personality.  Some of the difficulties that I had with her character in Caraval made more sense as I read Legendary.

The world that Stephanie built in Caraval is still very much in existence, thankfully, because I absolutely love this world, but the setting has changed.  The game has changed.  There is a lot at stake in this book, and revelations that you don’t want to miss for sure!    Not to mention handsome guys, evil villains (real and self-perceived), and mystery.

I was on edge of my seat at the last 200 pages.  I was so afraid of a cliffhanger, and I was afraid that the story was done (there will be a book 3 if you’re wondering..hope that’s not considered a spoiler).  And I was mostly satisfied and 100% not satisfied at the end.  I’m in that book-hangover mode where I’m either going to have to grab a quick easy read so I can stop pinning over the next book, or I’m going to have to go back and start over at Caraval and go for the ride again.


The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club – J.C. Isabella

13517978The Unofficial Zack Warren Fan Club
by J.C. Isabella

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was just okay for me, dawg.

No really, this book was kind of so/so. I think it was because I felt like both Zack and Chloe’s characters felt very “young” to be in college. The story repeated itself over and over – I mean they established their relationship twice. And even when it is clear based on other people’s behavior how they feel about something – both characters just don’t get a clue, constantly acting oblivious confused about what was happening.

I’m only mildly interested in reading the next book.

View all my reviews

Forget You – Jennifer Echols

7129588Forget You by Jennifer Echols

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Have you ever had one of those times where you start to read a book and think —-“I think I’ve read this before.” And since you’re not positive just keep on reading. About halfway through you’re sure of it. This is one of those times.

Apparently I forgot reading “Forget You.” 😆

This was a typical YA, very much not clean, and some plot things I was only so/so okay about. Luckily, I liked Doug, so I finished (again).

Do I recommend it? If you’re one of those people who devour silly YA romances like water, sure knock yourself out. If you’re looking for a new favorite…maybe add it to the “To Be Read” shelf and keep going.

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I’m Back. Maybe.

I haven’t put a lot of serious effort into my blog in probably at least a year now. There are many reasons for that – some of them my own fault: feeling obligated to take review requests, and to give a perfect (Not 5 Star, but decently written, detailed enough) review…when sometimes my review really just was mentally “I liked it – it made me happy!” No one wants to read that kind of review!

Some of the reason I backed off was the drama of the book blogging community as a whole. And the promote promote promote mentally of authors. Can I be honest? I only read reviews – rarely do I read a book release post, though I have posted quite a few of them in the life of my blog.

I have taken this stance before – it’s the “it’s my blog I’ll post what I want to.” Stance. And it changes over the years – so I’m sure it’s not permanent, but for now I’m posting what I like. My reviews aren’t going to be perfect. I may or may not post the book synopsis- I mean, we’re all on Goodreads, or can hit up Amazon pretty easily, right? I will try to keep it related to books and reading in general, but this blog is my own – I will do as I see fit!

Until I change my mind!

Book Review: Fall Line – Tudor Robins

Fall Line (Downhill Series, #1)Fall Line by Tudor Robins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book started off a little slow for me, and I’m not sure if it was because I hadn’t actually read a book in a while, or if it was because it was just a bit slow to take off for me. Given a few chapters, however, I was sucked in and invested in Chris and Tilly’s story.

I enjoy books told from the guy’s point of view, I’m not even sure why that is, except that most books -especially of the coming of age/romance category, are written from the girls perspective. More than Chris’ POV, I enjoyed Tilly’s and her assertiveness and resolve. She wasn’t whiny or annoying as a character, she put herself out there and let the chips fall. She was patient while Chris worked out his own feelings. It was Chris who drove me nuts with his…other Jenna. And then there is Jenna who you want to hate, and then she dishes out a bit of advice that makes you not hate her as much.

In the end, I think it was just nice to have a book where everyone was who they seemed to be. The story didn’t seem forced or dramatic, just real.

This story did NOT, however, make me want to go skiing. It will take more than a book to convince me outside into sub-zero temperatures (which is where the weather sits where I’m at right now).

View all my reviews

Saving Detroit – Michelle Bolanger

34738008Title: Saving Detroit
Author: Michelle Bolanger

Publisher: Self – Indie Author
Published Date: April 29, 2017

Blurb: Luke Kelso is about to land what he thought was his dream job as crew chief for his dad’s pro-race team, but a celebratory night out with friends turns into a six-month nightmare of abuse after he is drugged and forced into service for a high-end sex trafficking ring.

His rescue and return home to a family that loves him should have given him a safe place to recover and begin rebuilding his life. But when the truth about his family’s involvement in his ordeal is revealed, Luke turns his back on God, his family, and his career, vowing to take down the one who shattered his world forever.

An emotional story of recovery and healing through faith in God, Saving Detroit is a heartbreaking look at the horrors of human trafficking seen through the eyes of a young man fighting a battle against an evil only God can defeat.

My Review:

Once again, Michelle has created a masterpiece that sucks you in right from the start and keeps you stuck until the very end. She is excellent at creating a scene, including you you in the conversation and causing you to feel. Saving Detroit is a small break from her previous, Urban Fantasy, genre. A small break that I expect to be repeated over and over, because Michelle is too busy writing whatever is in her heart at that moment to be stuck in a single category.

What I Loved: I loved that this book is a piece of Michelle’s heart, which is absolutely evident in every word, paragraph, chapter. She put her heart and soul into this book for many reasons. She clearly had a few purposes in writing this book; one of them was an introduction into the true character of God – not the version we see plastered in news stories on Facebook, or through the condemning words of the misguided, but the God of love and patience and persistence.

I loved the other purpose of this book, which is to draw attention to an overlooked issue in this country; sex trafficking, and the even more over looked victims; boys and men. When I first started reading this book I was thrown when things started to take a turn for the dark. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, ‘what?! no…’ but reality is, anyone and everyone can be a victim, and our culture such as it is, will constantly shy away from MEN being a victim of anything. Especially in this arena. Its a thought that often gets swept under the rug and ignored. Sure there are some news stories, especially when its children involved, but they tend to fade away and get forgotten. This book draws attention to this issue, not only that, but it kind of throws it in your face and makes you want to PAY attention. To do something about it.

Not So Much: This book gutted me at times, it was difficult to read, difficult to process at times. It was at those moments I really wanted to put the book down and take a break.

The Verdict: I implore you, whether you are a Christian or not, give this book a chance. Let it wiggle it’s way into your heart, and truly let yourself hear the message that it is singing through every page.

The Circle – Dave Eggers

18302455Title: The Circle
Author: Dave Eggers

Publisher: Knopf
Published Date: 10/08/13

Blurb: When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

My Review:
I never heard of this book before I saw the preview at the movies.  Immediately I knew that it was a book first though, the entire premise really had that ‘book’ feel, and I thought it was one that I would really, really like.  So as soon as I got home from the movies that night, I went and added myself to the wait list with the library.

What I Loved:  This book was just real enough to believe.  I continued to go back and forth between thinking, ‘no way…there is no way that so many people would be okay with this,’ and thinking ‘how far away from this are we now, really…not much.’  There were many aspects of the corporation that were very familiar, as there are things (on a much smaller scale) that my own corporation does (ie. onsite health clinic, badges that track where you are in the building, etc.).

Not So Much:  First of all, Mae was kind of a pushover.  She bought in to everything so easily.  I felt like she really had a hard time having her own thoughts.  In the moments when it seemed like she was falling into a more….reasonable thought process, something would happen or she would mentally talk herself out of it.

Second, as mentioned, I had a hard time thinking so many people would be okay with the kind of integration that The Circle was attempting.  Many times I had to remind myself that the perspective that we are getting in this book was dominantly an ‘inside The Circle’ view, and aside from a few minor characters – you don’t get any other perspective.

Third, I felt like the ending was a huge let down.

The Verdict:  If you like the series “Black Mirror” this book is for you.  Like 110%, you’re going to love it.  I didn’t care for the series, and I was very luke-warm about this book.  This book is an adult book, and it has adult scenes.

Ever the Hunted – Erin Summerill

28114396Title: Ever the Hunted
Author: Erin Summerill

Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Published Date: 12/27/2016

Blurb: Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

My Review:
I’m not even sure what the allure of a book set in a place with no technology, bows and knives are hunting tools and trade is the best source of commodity is, but I am always drawn to them.  Throw in a strong female lead, and I’m usually game! Plus I really love that cover.

What I Loved:  This story unraveled at a very nice pace, and had the flavor of a fairy-tale, which falls right into my current Beauty and the Beast mode as it is.  I enjoyed that there were bits of magic interwoven throughout this story; you know that Britta is special, but it really isn’t fully unveiled until much later just how much, and then it maintains a bit of a ‘witch hunt’ atmosphere. I felt like the pace of this book moved along smoothly, yet didn’t skimp on the background either.  I honestly thought that I was reading a stand alone because of all the detail and the way the whole thing was unraveling.

I loved the relationship between Britta and Cohen’s friendship/relationship.  Of course there is the attraction between them which is kept at a sizzle most of the time, but they also bicker and get on each other’s nerves, just the way you would expect old friends to do.  They protect each other, even in moments when they don’t seem to be on the same side of the fence.

Britta’s captors were an interesting mix of people.  I did like that not all of them were mean/evil-natured, but that despite her circumstance, she had a friend as well.

Not So Much:  So the first, and probably most common mistake of any book relationship – the relationship between Britta and Cohen could have been set to rights by conversing. Even when there was this big secret being held, there was so much talking that could have been done, instead there were long pauses and assumptions the entire time…it got old very quickly.

Second, I thought I was reading a stand alone, even though I sort of knew I wasn’t at the same time.  This kind of book ALWAYS is part of a series.  But I’m very unpleased with the way this one ended, and I’m not even sure I want to continue.  It will take some good reviews and research on my part, because I’m not sure I can handle another book of no talking and secrets that are the biggest source of drama throughout the book.

The Verdict: I’m iffy on this.  I liked it a lot, but there were issues that make me hesitant to continue.  The book was clean and appropriate for YA.

Deja Revu – Week of 04/03/17

Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.





General Fiction







Hunted – Meagan Spooner

24485589Title: Hunted
Author: Meagan Spooner

Publisher: HarperTeen
Published Date: March 14, 2017

Blurb: Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

My Review:
Beauty and the Beast has always been, and likely will always be my favorite fairytale.  I have loved it from the moment the first Disney movie came out back when I was a kid.  I remember being enchanted by the story, and then again when all the reports came out about all the details of on the graphics and all the work that went into the finite details (anyone else remember the over-description of that amazing chandelier?) I was enchanted again by the work that went into making the movie I loved.  As I grew up I came to love the story and it’s many forms.  In fact, recently my family and I were at a bookstore, and naturally they had a display dedicated to Beauty and the Beast, and I pointed out all of the books on that display I had already read.  I’m pretty sure it was 7 out of the 10 options.  At least one of the options was a book that was just a graphic replica of the movie (of which I have no desire to read).  Another of the books was Hunted, and I have now added it to my list…

What I Loved:  While this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, this book was its own story.  So many different elements and theories were poured into this rendition, it was so lovely to see the story through a different lens.  Only the trace outline of the story that is so familiar existed in this rendition.

My absolute favorite part about this book, for the very first time this story opened my eyes to a new reality in all of the Beauty and the Beast tales, and I’m not sure why I haven’t seen it before.  Most (Disney) stories are about a Princess who needs rescued.  And yes, there are many of the newer movies where this reoccurrence has been dropped to have the strong female lead, but I think we all forget to look at Beauty in this light.  In fact, the roles are completely reversed and it has always been Beast that needs rescued. There is a scene in which one of Yeva’s (Beauty’s) sisters point out, [paraphrased quote] “you are not a knight in shining armor riding off to defeat the enemy and rescue the princess,” but is she not?  Does she not break the spell releasing the Beast from his curse…in the many retellings, this is done mostly the same way.  This book is unique in the curse and it’s ways, but the concept is still there.

The conclusion, and Yeva’s self evaluation though, beautifully done.

Not So Much: I felt like it took a little while to really get into the thick of this story.  While most of the first few chapters are story and character building, I felt it moved slow.  But once I got through the beginning the real story, the one I was anxious to get to, reeled me in really quick.

Due to Yeva’s skill sets and the title being “Hunted” and all, I did long for a bit more action as well.

The Verdict: I will be adding a hard-copy of this book to my shelf. I loved it. There are many words I really wanted to share in this review, however so many of the things I wanted to discuss could have been viewed as spoilery, simply because the best part about this book is going in knowing it’s basically a retelling, but not really knowing the story at all.  As all the parts of it start to become clear – THIS is the joy in this book! Hunted is very YA friendly, and a familiar story beautifully re-imaged.